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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: United 2 - 0 Horsham

Report from the Saturday afternoon home game

6 November 2021

United welcomed Isthmian League Premier Division outfit Horsham FC to Brunton Park for their Emirates FA Cup first-round meeting.

The West Sussex based side beat Woking by 1-0 in the final qualifying round to set up the tie, and they travelled in numbers despite the distance involved in making the journey.

United boss Keith Millen was in charge of his first home game and there was a return to the starting eleven for Tristan Abrahams and Joe Riley, with Brennan Dickenson missing out with a dead leg and Kelvin Mellor stepping down to the bench.

Horsham started brightly and a neat pass from O'Toole to Harding gave the latter the chance to cross. That was met by McDonald, but Kavanagh was upended as the clearance was made. Sparks drove the 24-yard free kick under the wall but Howard was in the right place to gather.

Jordan Gibson tried to release Abrahams after the ball had been worked nicely through the middle areas by the hosts, but it had just too much on it and Howes scooped it into his chest.

United had a strong wind blowing into their faces as they attacked the Warwick, but they were almost through again when Riley poked it onwards for Abrahams to chase. Howes was quickly off his line once again to get rid of it.

A deep free kick from Gibson caught on a gust as he sent it in from wide, but Whelan was closed down before he could stab it back into the mix.

The Hornets looked to provide a sting and Riley was wrestled off the ball as he tried to wind his way out of a tight corner. O'Toole crossed first-time when it ricocheted his way, but it took a deflection and skittered behind for a corner.

That was taken quickly, and Kavanagh was disappointed when he sent a volley from just inside the area over the bar.

Carlisle sent men forward on the quarter hour and Mellish won a corner as he tried to ghost past Metcalf. The delivery from Clough was met by Mellish, but his downward header was cleared off the line just as he set himself to celebrate.

An excellent through ball from Whelan found Abrahams on the move as he beat the offside trap. The ball wouldn't settle and his snapshot under pressure was too close to Howes.

The Cumbrians had the bulk of the possession and Whelan was more advanced when he beat his man to invite Gibson to open his legs. The winger didn't disappoint as he created room to deliver, but Miles was back to get there before Abrahams could make a mark.

A forceful surge from Mellish took him through two challenges but his cross on his left foot curled wickedly over the bar, with Alessandra and Abrahams in attendance in the 18-yard box.

A teaser from the left flank from Armer followed but it crept under Alessandra's boot, with Abrahams completely wrong-footed.

The Blues were the length of a defender's toe away from finding a way through on 35 minutes when Alessandra did well to spin his man. He rolled it to Clough, who edged it further onwards into the area. Gibson was about to pull the trigger but Brivio threw his boot at it to get it away just in the nick of time.

Howes was at his best just before the break when Alessandra ran his way across the face of the area. Armer came into play, and the keeper was up to punch it away. Mellish was there to meet it on the full and the keeper somehow spread himself to make an instinctive save from what was a thunderous volley.

Carlisle came again with Clough at the heart of a move that took him into the box. Urged to shoot by the crowd he did just that, but Sparks lunged and the deflection off his thigh looped up and onto the roof of the net.

An excellent through ball from Abrahams coincided with another measured run from Clough and he suddenly just had Howes to beat. The stopper stayed big and got enough on the clip to send it into the side netting.

The second period started with a whipped cross from Alessandra which begged for a touch. Howes kept his eye on it before clutching it into his arms.

United stayed forward and a dipping corner from Clough was controlled by Alessandra, and that meant that Abrahams could get some power into his 16-yard volley. Howes was well beaten, but Metcalf held his position on the post. That proved to be crucial as the right back completed a goal-saving header.

The next corner brought Gibson into play, but Howes had a clean view of his strike and he made another telling contribution when he got both hands there after Brivio had taken the sting out of it.

Horsham were still having a say, and Harding used a clever touch to find Harris, who had time to return the favour. Harding went for a glanced header but he couldn't keep it down.

Fishburn and Young were sent on for Alessandra and Abrahams with 30 minutes left to play, and it was a forceful run from Young that earned a free kick, dead central, moments later. Clough got it over the wall but it bent well wide.

And it was Young who had the most telling of contributions on 69 minutes when he kept his cool at the end of a decisive move. Guy started it off with a lovely ball to Armer, who screamed for it as he broke the lines, and the cross initially found the forward with his back to goal. He took a touch, turned, and made no mistake as he drilled it into the bottom corner.

The relief around the stadium was palpable and Fishburn used Gibson to open up another route, this time on the right. The winger crossed, Young battled, and Clough launched himself at it as it bobbled through the six-yard box. He was disappointed when it rolled agonisingly out of reach.

Dudley and Howes combined to deny Young a second goal after he had been released by an excellent through ball from Charters. The touch took the ball over the target, and the keeper was quick to thank the defender for his assistance.

The dangerous Shamir Fenelon dragged one wide as Horsham threatened late in the day, but it was Carlisle who closed things off when Young did the work to keep a long ball forward in play. He picked out Clough, who was in acres of space, and a touch off a defender as the ball flew low meant that the unbalanced Howes could only watch in despair as it nestled in the back of the net.

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Goals

Carlisle United - Young (69), Clough (89)

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Bookings

Horsham FC - Harding (39), Miles (58)

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Teams

Carlisle United - Howard, Riley, Whelan, McDonald, Armer, Gibson (Charters 78), Guy, Mellish, Clough, Abrahams (Young 61), Alessandra (Fishburn 61). Subs - Simons (gk), Mellor, Devine, Dinzeyi, Feeney, Mampala.

Horsham FC - Howes, Metcalf (Richards 75), Sparks, Miles (Dudley 75), Harding, Kavanagh, Brivio (c), Hestor-Cook, Harris (Rodrigues 75), O'Toole (Smith 79), Dsane (Fenelon 48). Subs - Punter (gk), Tuck, Charman, Day.

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Match officials

Referee - Lewis Smith
Assistant Referee 1 - David Avent
Assistant Referee 2 - Daniel Woodward
Fourth Official - Adam Williamson
Observer - Roy Pearson

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Attendance - 2,581 (280)


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